Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Stage Two: Listening To The Ramones' First Album and Meditating on Politics

Oh, great. People actually clicked on the blog post where I said I agreed with JCW. I didn’t say I agreed with his argument(s), by the way, which I haven’t really read in their entirety, or anything else that he has said.

And I do recall hearing that he can use some sales, so if you want to understand why he’s my least favorite writer in the whole world, ever, a guy I’d rank beneath Stephanie Meyer and Dan Brown, buy a couple of his books. They also make good kindling for cozy holiday fires, or happy holidays gifts for children who will be spending them in military school. I’m told his initial books are really good but I’ve read so many of his recent works that I wouldn’t touch them with a ten meter pole. If you like conservative misogyny and twenty dollar words you’ll adore them. Resuming ignoring him now, kthxbai.

But yeah, that whole self-serving, circular deal about telling yourself pretty lies with the vague general intent of making them sprout into truth … whatever you want to call that sort of thing, I’m against it. There are objective truths in the world but in order to find them we must continually challenge our assumptions.

I really really really wanted to take that post down because I sort of went out of my way to hysterically insult most people, but I’m leaving it up as a memorial to my post-election state of mind.

Yes, in fact I am a freeze peach advocate. I grew up under censorship. Porn was illegal. There were seven words you couldn’t say on TV, or on the radio, or in records. When I was a teenager I discovered the lofty world of underground comix and Loompanics press and punk zines and my mind did a tesseract shift and hasn’t been the same ever since.

I do understand what it’s like to be emotionally upset by media. A grim novel or movie can linger with you for days. I fully support people being able to find out whether a work is likely to touch their triggers before consuming it.

I disagree, however, with the notion that forbidding media can change human behavior. There were plenty of gay people in the seventies and before, when it was illegal to distribute gay porn in the US. People used the F word, just not in the movies. Teenagers get knocked up even if you don’t teach them sex ed.

I’ll grudgingly agree with parts of cultivation theory but I really have to contrast that against my years of fannish media consumption and all kinds of extreme outsider art. I’ve never personally beaten on any brats with baseball bats despite listening to that song well over a thousand times.

Also, I insist on polite speech, but that’s mainly because I’m an old lady. We’re just that way.

There are a lot of things that I proudly stood for in my twenties which have been all redefined, with extra footnotes and clauses, so I try to avoid officially labeling myself as an advocate in favor of anything, just because I haven’t reviewed the fine print, and if it’s full of that Foucaultian doubletalk I’m not sure I want to. I’m more about nuts and bolts liberalism at this stage of my life. Feed the bellies. Suture the lacerations. Deliver the babies. Roofs over heads.

The Ramones were a great band. They consisted of Johnny (a republican, who made sure everyone got to the gigs on time) and Joey (a liberal, who ended up doing lots of charitable events) and Dee Dee (a heroin addict who therefore probably counts as a libertarian). And lots of drummers, but the first one was Tommy, from Eastern Europe.  They did some songs that sounded like they sympathized with Nazis but they didn't really, and Joey was actually Jewish. Together they changed the course of rock and roll, bringing it from bloated studio stylings back down to workingman basics, launching a whole new era of social harmony as kids got together to play loud three-chord rock. That's the kind of synthesis that I'm crossing my fingers and toes will happen, after what feels like the most disappointing election of my lifetime. 

Hey, didn't I say I was going to shut up about politics?  Shutting up, attempt two. 

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